A renal venogram is an imaging test to look at the veins in and around your kidneys. Your healthcare provider may also use the test to find out what is causing your high blood pressure (hypertension).
This test is done by a radiologist who is a doctor that specializes in radiology. For the test, the radiologist injects a contrast dye into the kidney. He or she uses X-ray images to watch the dye as it flows through the blood vessels in the kidneys.
X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create images of your bones and internal organs. A renal venogram is one type of X-ray.
Fluoroscopy is used during a renal venogram. Fluoroscopy is a kind of X-ray movie.
During the test, the radiologist may also take a blood sample (renin assay) from each vein in your kidneys. The radiologist will see how much of a certain enzyme (renin) is in each sample. This can help him or her find what is causing your high blood pressure.
You may need a renal venogram to help your healthcare provider find problems in the renal vein or with blood flow in your kidneys. These problems may include:
Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a renal venogram.
You may want to ask your healthcare provider about the amount of radiation used during the test. Also ask about the risks as they apply to you.
Consider writing down all X-rays you get, including past scans and X-rays for other health reasons. Show this list to your provider. The risks of radiation exposure may be tied to the number of X-rays you have and the X-ray treatments you have over time.
Tell your healthcare provider if you:
Possible complications of a renal venogram include:
You should not have renal venography if you have a severe blockage (thrombosis) in the large vein that brings blood from your lower body to your heart (inferior vena cava) or a blockage in the renal vein.
You may have other risks depending on your specific health condition. Be sure to talk with your provider about any concerns you have before the procedure.
Certain things can make a renal venogram less accurate. These include:
You may have a renal venogram as an outpatient or as part of your stay in the hospital. The way the test is done may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider's practices.
Generally, a renal venogram follows this process:
You will be taken to the recovery room. A nurse will watch your vital signs and the injection site. He or she will check the circulation and sensation in the leg where the catheter was used.
You will need to lie flat in bed for at least 2 hours. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you will be taken to your hospital room or sent home.
You may be given pain medicine to ease pain or discomfort from the injection site or from having to lie flat and still.
Once at home, you should watch the injection site for bleeding. A small bruise is normal. So is an occasional drop of blood at the site.
You should watch the leg for changes in temperature or color, pain, numbness, tingling, or loss of movement.
Drink plenty of fluids to help the contrast dye leave your body. Fluids will also keep you from getting dehydrated.
You may not be able to do any strenuous activities or take a hot bath or shower for a period of time after the test.
Tell your healthcare provider if any of these occur:
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions, depending on your situation.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know: